Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reader Review

Me, Myself and Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God and Talking Vegetables by: Phil Vischer
From an early age, Phil Vischer was good with electronics. When the computer-age came to the forefront, he learned all he could about programming and about what shows computers could produce. He wanted to do a quality show for kids using the newest graphics programs. He starts with a candy bar character; but when his wife said, "Moms will hate you if you make their kids fall in love with a candy bar," he changed the candy bar into a tomato called 'Bob' and the show "Veggie Tales" was born. The book chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of Phil's company, big ideas and the lessons he learned.

Money for Nothing by: Donald Westlake
If a company sent you $1,000 a month to do nothing (till a later, unspecified date), would you take it? And ten years later when you found out you were a "sleeper spy" whose time has come to earn you money, would you betray your country? And if you chose not to "earn" the money, could you use your wits to manipulate you "employer" without forfeiting your life? In such a predicament our antagonist finds himself.

Afterburn by: Zane
I enjoyed the story line so much, I hated having to put the book down. I appreciated the quotes throughout the novel relating to life and cherishing it. The last couple chapters touched me so much I found myself shedding a tear. The commentary by the author was moving and inspirational. Reading about the loss of the author's loved ones made me feel closer to her although we never met.

Red Kayak by: Priscilla Cummings
Brady is an 8th grade student who discovers the terrible truth behind a kayak sinking. He must decide whether or not to share his secret that will change the lives of his two friends and his own family. He decided to tell the truth after months of tormenting himself. He found the drill his friends used to drill the holes n the red kayak and caused Ben's death.

Reader Review

Dear John by: Nicholas Sparks
John and Savannah meet and their lives change. They fall in love after a few days and they think their love will last. John is in the army and their separation is hard on their relationship. Savannah ends up falling in love with her friend Tim, and she breaks things off with John. Years later John visits Savannah. They both still love each other. Tim is sick and John gives his savings to help save him. He realizes what love is all about. They go on with their lives but they both continue to remember their love by going outside on the fool moon and remembering their time together.

Wolves Eat Dogs
by: Martin Cruz Smith
Arkad Y. Renko gets sent to Chernobyl to solve a murder. This book also introduces Evankaza and Zhenko. They become central people in his personal life. This is a good and interesting story. Cruz Smith gets the Russian cold war mind set.

A New Earth - Awakening To Your Life's Purpose
by: Eckhart Tolle
This is a very interesting and eye-opening book that explains the ego and how our world is ego driven. This is the cause of all the problems and suffering we experience. In order to have a better world, we need to live "in the now" because all we have is the present moment. That realization gives us access to the power of life itself - God, and that God is manifesting every moment of our life. Everybody and everything is all part of God.

How to Be Single: a novel by: Liz Tuccillo
Five distinct New York women ranging from Georgia, a divorced mother of two, to publicist Julie, deal with being single in the city. Julie gets an idea to travel the world to see how women around the world handle their solo status, while her friends go through the ups and downs, joys and frowns in this real, and well-written novel.

by: Scott Turow
This is a mystery where a judge who is presiding over a case where the time limitation is up, is getting threatening e-mail messages against his life.

Reader Review

Last Lecture by: Randy Pausch
A very good book - but sad. The author is a professor at a famous college and he gives his last lecture. He knows he is dying of pancreatic cancer and he wants to leave his family a tribute of his life. It's also a great uplifting book that makes you think about enjoying life while we are still on earth!

The year of Fog by: Michelle Richmond
This book is about a 6-year-old girl taken from her dad's girlfriend on the beach in California in the fog and the year it took finding her. What Abby went through to find Emma. The twist of events and the starling end was great, but I did not like some of the end.

Scarlet Thread by: Francine Rivers
This book tells the story of 2 different women from different generations who are related. They both struggle with family and faith. When their life is at the lowest, one loses her husband and travels to Oregon and LA and the other's marriage suffers; they find their need for God. They both grow spiritually and their lives come together again. Sierra and Alex find their way back together and are a family at the very end. A very good book!

Heaven and Earth by: Nora Roberts
A woman wants a typical lifestyle however; she has special powers that hinder this. She struggles her adult life to get her powers under control.

Tweak by: Nic Sheff
Nic Sheff writes about growing up on methamphetamines. He goes through excessive drug addiction and abuse and finding out who he really is through rehab and staying sober.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reader Review

Tropical Rain Forest: Endanger Environment by" James D. Nation
Very Interesting, it shows how important the Rain Forest is and how it effects the environment. How important it is for our survival.

Fourth of July by: James Patterson
Very exciting thriller. Keeps you in suspense. This about a serial killer and a lady cop who is being sued by the father of a teenager she shot.

Sail by: James Patterson
A widow Doctor decides to take her children on a sailing vacation on their father's sailboat (which is considered unlucky since he died on the boat). Their Uncle will Captain the sailboat. There is a series of misadventures soon after boarding this trip which was to hopefully bring this family back together not further apart. The family sailing voyage turns into a fight for survival.

Step on a Crack by: James Patterson
A very good thriller. A church filled with famous people attending a funeral, are held hostage.

Tenth Circle by: Jodi Picoult
An excellent read**** Jodi Picoult is a great writer! The book offers so many twist and turns you think you're on a roller coaster begging for more.

Reader Review

Dispatch by: Bentley Little
A supernatural thriller about a secret organization of letter writers that control politics, government and reality.

The Policy by: Bentley Little
A supernatural thriller about an evil insurance company that controls all aspects of our lives.

The Resort by: Bentley Little
A supernatural thriller about a family on vacation in Arizona who unexpectedly find themselves at a haunted resort where murder is on the agenda and the staff does not age.

Ghost of the Hardy Boys by: Leslie McFarlane
Leslie McFarlane was the first writer of the Hardy Boy series. For $100 a book, he would flesh out the outline sent to him by the publisher. Though the Hardy Boy series made millions through the years, the author made about $5,000 from all the Hardy Boy books he wrote. This informative book gives the history of the ghost writing and explains the work of a ghostwriter.

Eclipse by: Stephanie Meyer
The 3rd book in the "twilight" series, and the best so far! Bella Swan is a human in love with Edward, a "vegetarian" (non-human-biting) vampire. But her best friend is a werewolf - the vampire's mortal enemy. Will she give up one of her most important relationships for the vampire she loves? Read and find out!

Mixed Mosaics: Techniques and Projects Using Polymer Clay Files, Beads and other Embellishments by: Laurie Mika
Learn step-by-step how to make your own polymer clay tiles that can be used to make jewelry, labels and boxes, or mosaicicons (wall plaques). Even if you're creatively challenged, you should read this book to be wowed and inspired by the artistry found in this book or by the explanations of how certain art projects came to be (one mosairicon entitled "Out of the Ashes" was made from rubble after a friend's home burned down.)

Reader Review

Right Behind You by: Gail Giles
An excellent book. A story of a young boy who sabotages his own happiness because he can't forgive himself.

by: Ken Haruf
Many lives intersect in a small town. Two recluse brothers befriend a young pregnant girl. A man raises two sons after his wife leaves him. Broken people find community and healing. (Eventide is the sequel to Plainsong and is also worth reading.)

A Version of the Truth by: Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack
Cassie has always struggled in school and never finished high school. After her loser husband dies, she disparately needs a job, so she fudges the truth, saying she has a degree from the University of Michigan. She is hired by 2 professors, and is launched into a new world of literature and science theory discussions, art shows, opera and not one, but two interesting men. But eventually, the truth is uncovered...

Quilts from Europe by: Gul Laporte
Wow! What a book. If you are not a quilter, you will love this book. If you are a quilter, you will love this book. Quilters (and their quilts) from France, Germany, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and the UK are featured. You learn about each woman: how they became quilters, their techniques, how they plan out their quilts, which of them dye their own fabrics, the inspiration for certain quilts. There are vibrant pictures of their quilts and 14 quilt projects with instructions. You will be WOWED by the artistry of this book!!!

Gift from the Sea by: Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I loved this book-on-tape for its gems of wisdom and for speaking to my needs as a parent, as a wife, as a 50+ woman. The author examines seashells she's collected; each shell has a lesson to teach us: Beauty, self-sufficiency, peace, dependence, and interdependence.

Reader Reviews

This Land is Their Land by: Barbara Ehrenreich
Ehrenriech was also the author of "Nickel & Dimed", which I enjoyed more than this, her newest book. Although she discusses the current state of the economy, I didn't care for her writing style and didn't feel she was "telling us anything new." I would recommend her former book, but would recommend you pass on this one.

Fearless Fourteen by: Janet Evanovich
I love the Stephanie Plum series! This is very funny and a quick read. All the characters are original and multi-dimensional and course, Stephanie almost always gets her car blown up chasing and being chased by "bad guys". Recommend for a great summer break.

Stephanie Plum is at it again. Between Lula's rush to get married, Carl the monkey, Joe Morelli and Ranger, her work is once again cut out for her.

The Big Over Easy by: Jasper Fforde
Have you seen the movie Shrek? Or if you loved to read nursery rhymes as a child, you'll get a kick out of this book! You'll get giggles and laughs from this quirky, nursery crime novel! This is a lighthearted story about detective Inspector Jack Spratt, on the case with a team of forensics specialists. With competition in the ranks, Jack Spratt competes to solve the mystery of Reading's prominent citizen's death. This gem was recommended by Brandi and Kelly's TV program Hard Cover Feed Back. Check out Hard Cover Feed Back on Lansing Channel 4 on cable, for more Book Reviews!

CrossCut by: Meg Gardiner
Starts at a high school reunion reluctantly attended by Evan Delaney and her boy friend, Jesse at China Lake California, home of a military base where secret experiments took place 20 years earlier. Repercussions have begun to surface. I hope our military is better than this. But I bet it's not!

How Starbucks Saved my Life: A son of privilege learns to live like everyone else by: Michael Gates Gill
This autobiography reads like a novel. It's engaging and well written. The author, after being fired from a six-figure salary job at an ad agency, struggles for 10 years at being self-employed before being hired at Starbucks. He is in his 60's, needs the job and insurance, and is so afraid he'll be fired that he whole-heartedly attacks grout and cleans the bathrooms and toilets. He makes friends with his co-workers and finds a place to thrive and belong.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reader Review

700 Sundays by: Billy Crystal
The comedian relates his Sunday time spent mainly with his dad for the few short years before he passed from a heart attack. It's a non-fictional tribute not only to him but his whole entire family- their closeness- their few sad but mostly funny escapades. It has nothing to do with Billy's career perse. He had "funny" genes running throughout his talented family. It's what a family should do- love and support each other - take care of each other - Laughter is the best medicine. What you see is what you get with Billy!

Eat Right 4 Your Type by: Peter J. D'Adamn
What exercise is best for you if you have Type A blood? What foods should you avoid if you're Type B? What foods cause you to gain/lose weight if you're Type O? This book answers those question for each blood type and gives some recipes for each type as well. (The book categorizes foods as to (1) beneficial (2) neutral, (3) should not eat!)

Angels Don't Die by: Patti Davis
The author tells how her father Ronald Reagan passed on his faith to her and taught her to pray through his words and consistent examples.

Death Train to Boston
by: Dianne Day
The Union and Southern Pacific Railroads were experiencing unusual problems and accidents. The train (S.P.R.), bound for Boston was blown up, derailed, a railroad bridge collapsed - part of a train fell in a gully. One member of J & K agency - Michael was injured - other partner Fremont was found by a religious zealot and he took her into his charge - when she recoverd he wanted to make her wife #6. How she came to escape and finally the partners found each other, an interesting story.

How to Be Cool by: Johanna Edwards
This was about a girl that had weight issues that she finally overcame as an adult. But still never felt as though she were thin. Regardless of her size she was always the same inside.

Reader Review

The Cat that said Cheese by: Lilian Jackson Braun
Though I read Murder on the Orient Express and a collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries (both excellent books), my favorite was by Braun. Her book was light-hearted with many interesting characters in a small, fictional town. I was unable to guess the culprit even to the end (as in the other books). I think I will read some of her other books in the near future.

Round the Corner, Undivided Heart, A Place to Belong by: Vonette Bright/Nancy Moser
Vonette Bright and Nancy Moser have written a four-book, gentle read series called The Sister Circle. Evelyn Peerbaugh is recently widowed and has no money. She decides to turn her home into a boarding house. The women who come into her home bring their burdens and faith (or lack of it) and bond as the grow through their problems together.

All the Way From Texas by: Carolyn Brown
This is an Avalon Romance which doubles as a travelogue as reporter Molly Baker and photo journalist Caron Rhodes are sent on a 10 state photo journalism tour by their professor as part of their final grade for his class. Will a career for them both result?

The Thin Woman by: Dorothy Cannell
This debut novel in a popular mystery series features witty dialogue, likable characters and a believable mystery within a mystery.

Gone for Good by: Harlan Coben
Is he dead or alive and did he do it? Will has always wondered this about his older brother Ken. Eleven years ago Will's ex-girlfriend, Julie, is found dead and Ken has been blamed. Now 11 years later Ken has been spotted and Will's current girlfriend Shelia is now missing.

Reader Reviews

A Thousand Splendid Suns by: Kahaled Hosseini
This is a great book to introduce you into the thoughts and ways of life of the people of Afghanistan. It shows a very harsh life that is expected of women.

Remember Me? by: Sophie Kinsella
Lexi wakes up in a hospital, with the last thing she remembers is drinking away her problems - bad job, loser boyfriend, and father's funeral. Soon, she realizes its 3 years later but has amnesia, which blocks the last 3 years from her memory. Now, she's married to a gorgeous guy, rich, and has a great job. But is her life as perfect as it seems? This was a quick , light read, somewhat predictable but very enjoyable.

Flu: the Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused it by: Gina Kolata
Read about the murderer of 100 million people (20 million killed in India alone), a murderer that killed more people in the U.S. than the Americans who died in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam. The murderer was the 1918 flu pandemic. We know the murderer, but the author explores what could have been the murder weapon: swine flu? bird flu? a virus? a bacteria? A virus and a bacteria? He introduces us to the men and women who investigated (over a 80 year span) the causes of the pandemic and
the various methods they used to investigate.

Total Control by: David Baldacci
Sidney Archer's husband's plane goes down. He is killed. Or is he? Sidney learns her husband is alive. But where is he? Did he have something to do with the plane crash? Is his life in danger? Sidney teams up with FBI agent Lee Sawyer to find her husband and find answers, while endangering her own life.

The Winner by: David Baldacci
You're poor, have a small child, and want to escape an abusive relationship. Would you sign up for a fixed 100 million dollar lottery in which you are guaranteed to be the winner? The only catch is you must live the first 10 years abroad moving constantly, and after that you must never return to the U.S. Fast forward 10 years. You dare to return to the U.S. at the great peril to yourself. Can you have (keep) your money and freedom too?

Reader Review

Pillars of the Earth by: Ken Follett
A story from the year 1135 about monks, bishops, kings, queens and the building of cathedrals. (Oprah Book Club selection)

T is for Trespass by : Sue Grafton
Wonder what happens when a stranger gets "power of attorney" of someone's funds. Think twice!

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by: Jack Gantos
A lighthearted book about an 8th grade boy with ADHD living with his Mom. Once his Mom shows up again in his life, his paternal Grandmother takes off to live with his Dad. Joey has humorous encounters at school that made me laugh out loud. There were also some very challenging true to life situations Joey experienced.

Madam President: Is America Ready to Send Hillary Clinton to the White House?

by: Suzanne Goldenberg
After reading this book, I can't say I'll vote for Hillary in November. But I would say I've gone from a "Definitely Not" to an "I will give it consideration." The author addresses the mistakes and missteps Hillary has made in her political career, but she also addresses Hillary's political strengths and potential. The author gives documented information and leaves the decision to us.

Monday, July 07, 2008

"Reader Review"

Newton by: Peter Ackroyd
Say the name “Sir Isaac Newton”, and I would think “laws of gravity” or “apple”.Before I read this book, that is. Now I’ll think of calculus, optics, alchemy, tides and England’s Mint. I didn’t realize what a genius he was or in how many fields he made great advances and was an expert.

Free Fire by: C. J. Box
Having recently lost his job as a Wyoming game warden, Joe Pickett is recruited by the devious governor Rulon to oversee a murder investigation involving a confessed killer and overlapping jurisdictions that enabled the man's release.

Three Wishes by: Barbara Delinsky
A woman has an "out of body" experience due to an accident. All she remembers is a bright light and a strong feeling that she has been granted "3 Wishes". Unsure of the whole situation and if it is true about the wishes; she starts thinking about using the "wishes". It is a love story of one woman and a town - a man - and family. *P.S. How would you use 3 wishes if you were given them?

Die Laughing by Carola Dunn
Daisy Dalrymple (now married and expecting her first child) solves the murder of her dentist when his habit of inhaling "laughing" gas to relax, does just that...Permanently!

Lean Mean Thirteen by: Janet Evanovich
An excellent and fast paced read. Stephanie Plum is a single bounty hunter who has one mis-adventure after another. She has a handsome cop boyfriend (Morelli) and occasionally works for an exceptionally good-looking Cuban named Ranger(love the tension). She is feisty and bounces back like an heroin should (a rough version of Nancy Drew). She's a good role model for the modern woman. There are plenty of characters with conflicting personalities that add spice and humor. Even Plum's family gets involved (so life-like).

Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich
An Evanovich "Romance" still has the "fun" characters who could be friends with Stephanie Plum. The story is funny, fast moving, has elements of danger and intrigue. A pleasant, fast "read" which ends happily. Suspense, romance and some teasing developing sex.